the HöFLICH music project

So, on January 6th, to celebrate the first Saturday in 2018, I released my first single as a solo artist, under the name HöFLICH, “Dirnig” b/w “Omniscient”.

I wrote “Dirnig” back in 2012, with the seed being a single line from a teenage poem of mine; “Omniscient” grew out of a cool chord progression that I came up with a few years back, and I then put he song together in 2017. The songs had been some time in the production, starting in June 2017, it was my first time working with session musicians, and I tried out a new producer and studio. Altogether happy with the results, I will keep recording songs there until I have enough for an album. More on that later, obviously.

I chose the name HöFLICH as this is my father’s birth name. He was forced to drop the umlaut when he emigrated to Canada from Germany in the 1950s. While I wasn’t so sure I wanted an ALL-CAPS name for my solo unit, I thought a lower case umlaut-o would look cool with the umlaut filling the space that a capital letter would, so there would be no real gap. Not ideal, but cool nonetheless.

I’m very proud of both songs, although they’re different. But in a way they’re the same – the lyrics both deal with our struggles in society. While there’s a lot of wordplay, and some abstract notions, there’s nothing among the lyrics that’s unfathomable (at least that’s the way I see it) or overly cryptic. “Dirnig” is a light pop song, drumless, with a keyboard buildup, that walks us through the frustrations of an ambitious, urban life. “Omniscient” is a steady, driving pop song with some cool slide guitar that walks through the frustrations and absurdities of life, taking us all the way to the brink. Lots of angst in both of them – oh Lord, yeah!!

I put together lyric videos for both songs, as I wanted there to be a way for people to hear the songs and understand them, without necessarily needing to fork over actual money. For “Dirnig” I wanted something somber, almost morose, so I patched together a series of still images of the sun hitting the walls in the courtyard of the place where I live (yes, it’s somehow morose to see sunlight hitting an old wall). I thought it worked out well, until I realised that it was just too monotonous, so I threw in a few mysterious pictures of myself at certain bridging moments. That broke it up a bit, although maybe not enough, lol. Something altogether different happened for “Omniscient” – given that it’s a more kinetic song, I wanted something with movement, and so while thinking about what I might want to do with this song, it so happened that I was on the bus one day reading a book… I looked up from my book and noticed that there was a stunning sunset happening outside the bus windows! I whipped out my cell phone and started recording. I got about five minutes of footage, as I proceeded towards my own bus stop. I got out, and that was that. I took the footage home, watched it, and came up with the forward-reverse concept you see in the video. I think it worked out really well, and I’m quite proud of the results. Total video budget: $0. Unfortunately, there’s no magic – it really looks like something slapped together for $0, but at least it captures an opportune moment, and there’s some concept behind it too. Even the handphone video element is right – handphone videos are the only videos people take nowadays, as we all travel towards our own sunsets!

I created a Bandcamp account for HöFLICH and uploaded the songs. Then I put them in my own Facebook page, as well as the Peter Hoflich Musician Facebook page. Then I uploaded the videos on YouTube, and here they are:

Here are a couple of the other visuals I used for the video and marketing.

HöFLICH large

HöFLICH

HöFLICH logo

Dirnig

Omniscient

So far the feedback’s been good – so many friends have mentioned that they’re impressed, and my buddy Farid Long wrote a wonderful review of the songs on SOFT.COM. I’m not sure what sales have been like – I’ve been too scared to look. But, two days after launching each video had 200 views, so that makes me feel pretty good…

So, now that those are done and dusted, what’s next? Well, I’m already recording my next single, which will be an original called “Even When I’m Right, I’m Wrong”, and a cover, “Black Denim Trousers (and Motorcycle Boots)”, which is a song from the 1950s, to hopefully be released in March. I’ll string the songs together – since they use similar chords – starting with the cover, and then building into the original. That’s how I play the songs live, and that’s how I want to record them. Then I want to do a final acoustic original, “Spinal Reconstruction Blues”, with the guitarist from my band MegalomaniA. We did record an awesome on-the-fly version together of that song once before, I’d love to do the same in a studio to release as a proper version; the song’s been recorded with a full band already by MegalomaniA, which is great too, but I’d like to also have the acoustic version out there. Finally, I have a few songs that are loop-based, which will be a sister project to the acoustic project… but let’s see what I do with that.

Watch this space!!

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